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What is ankle arthroscopy (key hole surgery)?

Ankle arthroscopy is a procedure which involves the use of a special surgical camera and tiny surgical tools. During the procedure, Dr Narramore will make a small incision in the ankle and insert a tool known as an arthroscope. An arthroscope is a thin, flexible tube that contains a small light and camera. When the arthroscope is moved through the body, images from the camera are transmitted to a monitor, allowing Dr Narramore to view the inside of the joints. By inspecting the joint in this way, Dr Narramore is able to diagnose any conditions and assess injuries in the ankle. He can then repair the problem with the use of small surgical tools. Because the technique is minimally invasive, the recovery time is generally much quicker than traditional open surgery.

Why is it performed?

Ankle arthroscopy can be performed for a number of reasons, including:

1. Anterior ankle impingement

This condition occurs when there is inflammation in the bone or tissue at the front of the ankle joint, causing pain and swelling. During arthroscopy, the inflamed tissue and bone can be scraped away.

2. Posterior ankle impingement

This condition occurs when there is inflammation in the soft tissue at the back of the ankle, causing pain and difficulty in pointing the foot downwards. During arthroscopy, the inflamed tissue or bone can be removed.

3. Osteochondral Lesion of the Talus (OLT)

This is not an uncommon condition of the ankle, where a small area of cartilage and bone is damaged in the ankle. The loose fragments are removed with an 85-90% good outcome and resolution of pain.

4. Arthritis in the ankle

Arthroscopy may be recommended for patients suffering from arthritis for removal of loose cartilage and bone fragments. Arthroscopic ankle fusion works by removing damaged cartilage and fusing the ankle bones into one bone, thereby limiting motion and reducing joint pain.

5. Ankle fractures

Ankle fractures can be repaired by means of arthroscopy. Dr Narramore may also use an arthroscope to check for injuries to the cartilage.


Dr Chris Narramore consults and operates from the following locations: Constantiaberg Mediclinic or Sport Science Institute. Please contact his office directly to make an appointment and specify where you would like to be seen.


Room 207
Mediclinic Constantiaberg
Burnham Road
Cape Town 7800

Tel: +27 21 762 5228


Orthopaedic Sports Clinic
Sports Science Institute
Boundary Road
Cape Town 7700

Tel: +27 21 762 5228